As I sit here savoring a bowl of local, organic cherries (and trying not to stain or dirty the keyboard), I want to share three ways to save money during this season when the local, naturally-grown fruit is abundant and delectable.
1. Buy in bulk, ask for a discount
Rather than getting a pint of this and a pint of that, ask the farmer if they will give you a discount if you buy an “abundance” amount. Usually, this will be about 10 pounds or more. Of course, this supposes that you have willing hands to clean and prepare the produce for freezing, as well as a freezer to accommodate the abundance. The food I usually purchase this way are plums, berries, apples, pears, and tomatoes. The last three of those – the apples, pears and tomatoes, separately -I wash and then blend into a raw sauce, and freeze.
If you do the work yourself, food from U-Pick farms can be very reasonable – downright cheap, even. I don't do much of this; I wish I did more. The reason for this is because we live off the beaten track and keep our forays away from home limited to once per week. If I lived in town or closer to town, I'd be all over this! To get in touch with your areas u-pickings, check PickYourOwn.org or LocalHarvest.org. In addition, your newspaper may print a list of the farms participating in the U-Pick season. This comes out prior to or at the beginning of the season.
3. Gleaning from friend and neighbors
So many people (and I wish I knew more of them!) have an abundance of fruits, nuts, and vegetables. One family we know has acres full of blackberry bushes, more berries than they can use.They graciously allow us to come and fill up boxes to our heart's content. They also have pear and apple trees and often allow us to pick the excess (which is what we are doing in the picture at the top of this post). This is such a blessing! Also, watch your local free shopper publication or other advertisements for notices of fruit or nut trees, ripe for the picking.
Of course, you save the most money if you're able to grow and cultivate your own berry patches and/or fruit or nut trees! How do you save money on local, seasonal produce? Please share!
This post is part of Pennywise Platter Thursday, hosted by The Nourishing Gourmet.
We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. This post may contain special links through which we earn a small commission if you make a purchase (though your price is the same).